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马英九在台湾水门案输的好惨 – Wiretapping Taiwanese Style October 6, 2013

Posted by hslu in Economics, Politics, Taipei, Taiwan.
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Because of Watergate, Nixon resigned as the president of the United States.

马英九 probably will not be forced to resign as Taiwan‘s president due to his involvement in Taiwanese Watergate because Taiwan’s presidency is well protected under the constitution and impeachment is a very high huddle to cross. He and his party, 国民党, however will pay a hefty political price because of many personal mistakes made by 马英九.

马英九, basically threw his entire law training from Harvard Law School out of the window and let his personal animosity against 王金平 clouded his judgement from the very beginning.

马英九 has done irrevocable damages to his partyHe should resign as the chairman of 国民党. 国民党 will lose more seats at 立法院 next year. It probably will lose in the mayoral and county official elections too.

In a nutshell, this is why 马英九 failed so miserably:

  • First of all, the root cause of 马英九’s debacle is his determination to remove 王金平 as 立法院院长;the chairman of Taiwan’s legislature body; 立法院. 王金平, being a member of 马英九’s party, may have showed more affiliation to the causes of the opposition party than those of his own party. In short, as far as 马英九 is concern, 王金平 is in the way. He must go. The question is how to remove him.
  • 马英九, as the chairman of 国民党, did the following; many of them unwise and not very well thought of. It showed his total incompetency and lack of judgement. The worst nightmare for 马英九 was that the whole drama got played out on national TV like a soap opera for every citizen and foreigners to watch. 马英九 and all his subordinates’ incompetence had no place to hide:
    1. Used illegally obtained information (via wiretapping on an unrelated matter, hence the Watergate connection) and instructed the head of Taiwan’s secret service agency to announce 王金平’s unethical activities with a leader of the opposition party while 王金平 was out of the country to marry his second daughter;
    2. Deprived 王金平 due process to proof his innocence and declared openly that 王金平 was guilty as charged;
    3. On the day of 王金平 daughter’s wedding, 马英九 publicly demanded 王金平’s return to answer the charges;
    4. Publicly humiliate 王金平 and called him unfit to be the chairman of 立法院 and remove his party membership.
    5. The president office publicly suggested that the vice chairman of 立法院 is more fit to takeover王金平’s position because she is well qualified and, more importantly, loyal to 国民党.

As 王金平 fought to regain his reputation and to keep his 立法院院长 position with overwhelming support from members of the opposition party, 马英九‘s lack of judgement  and his subordinates’ incompetency were revealed one piece at a time like peeling an onion; layer by layer and none of them was good for 马英九 though.

  • The information gathered from wiretapping on 王金平 may not stand in court. The wiretapping was granted by the court for something and someone else.
  • By most accounts, the head of the secret service agency shouldn’t give the information gathered from wiretapping to 马英九 because the case wasn’t revealed to the public and the persons involved.
  • The punishment to 王金平, if he is unethical as charged, should be taken of  by 立法院 according to its regulations. 马英九, being Taiwan’s President, has no authority over this matter. He over-stepped his bound.
  • 马英九, as the chairman of 国民党, ran with this information and removed 王金平’s party membership and as 立法院院长. In essence, 马英九 used his unique position (President and party chairman) to interfere with the internal matter of a department of the government.
  • The lower court and the higher court ruled in favor of 王金平 and allowed him to stay as 立法院院长. 

In the end, 马英九 and members of his inner circle have to be deposed for their roles in the wiretapping matter. They probably will answer to 立法院’s inquire in the coming days and months too. The legality of 马英九 and others’ knowledge of information from wiretapping before it was revealed publicly will be determined soon. The result of this investigation may be unfavorable to 马英九 too.

马英九 was going to appeal high court’s unfavorable decision to the highest court in the land but decided to give it up. 王金平 will for sure keeps his chairman position and party membership. As such, 王金平 will be an even bigger eyesore to 马英九 going forward. The worst part of all these is that 马英九 still has to rely on 王金平 to move his agenda in 立法院. However, the damage has been done. We call this: 泼出的水已经是收不回来了。

Many people involved in wiretapping and its illegal revelation before its time, including judges and the head of the secret service agency, will probably lose their jobs and possibly their retirement benefits too. Most if not all are members of 国民党.

The opposition party,民进党, will for sure call on 马英九 and the head of the executive department to resign. An impeachment movement may be in the work too. It probably will not go very far but it is an embarrassment to 马英九 and a constant reminder to Taiwan’s citizens of 马英九’s incompetency. For sure, the opposition party will get as much benefit from 马英九’s missteps. They will drag this drama out.

马英九’s legacy will forever be tarnished by his bumbler description and his lack of judgement on this matter.

The damage to 国民党 has been done. I can not image just how low the morals of members of 国民党 could be at this time. The impact to 国民党 on next year’s general election could be severe. The chance of 国民党’s 2016 presidential election no doubt also took a hit.

Above it all, no one in the government will seriously work on reviving the economy which is in the tank right now. GDP growth of 5 or 6% has been replaced by words like 保2有望;meaning maintaining at 2% level is a possibility.

马英九又输了。这次他和国民党输得很惨。马英九的正义大旗已被撕得粉碎。他被民进党和王金平打的全无还手之力。马英九实在好可怜!许多国民党的党员一定很灰心:为什么他们选出来的总统一而再再而三的让他们失望?I don’t have an answer.

In many ways, 马英九 is the Jimmy Carter of Taiwan: a good and honest person, insisting on doing everything big and small himself but the job was way over his head. He is, based on his past performance, more than likely to fail in the end.

Well, 马英九 still has three years to prove everybody wrong.

I wonder what the White House has to say in private. More importantly, will 习近平 re-evaluate China’s policy wrt Taiwan?If he does, what will it be?

 

 

 

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